Toronto’s Best Bowling Alleys

The recent arrival of the massive, gleaming bowling alley, The Ballroom, to downtown has done more than offer a glimmer of hope for the thug-and-hooch-dominated club district; it’s also given the downtown crowd a place to roll. But it’s not the only option. Here, Toronto’s best bowling alleys.

The Ballroom
If the leather couches and exposed brick don’t clue you in, the $65 hourly weekend rates will: This is not your average bowling alley. With DJs, a comfy rec room and LED television screens, The Ballroom is to bowling what “artisanal beef Buddha Dog mini Pogos” are to weiners. 145 John St., 416-597-2695.

Bathurst Bowlerama
Bathurst Bowlerama is definitely from Toronto’s BB era – before Ballroom: flickering fluorescent lights, questionable rental shoes, cheap beer, and some damn fine bowling. Just the way it should be. 2788 Bathurst St., 416-782-1841.

Danforth Bowl
Over on the Danforth, it’s like The Ballroom never happened. The six five-pin lanes here are so coveted that you’re likely to be laughed out the door without a reservation. The party-friendly place is 75 years old – you keep score with a pencil and paper – but on weekends the alleys turns into “rock & bowl,” complete with coloured lights and disco ball. 1554 Danforth Ave., 416-463-3000.

Playtime Bowl
If you’re low on dough but need to pick up a few spares, Playtime, near Yorkdale Mall, is what you need. Visit late at night, from Sunday to Thursday, to avoid the crowds of kids – and enjoy 48 lanes of $8 all-you-can bowl action. 33 Samor Rd., 416-787-4533.

Image courtesy of NewFireWithin.

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